Access Maine Divorce Records for Free: Search Anyone

Free Maine Divorce Record Search
Find out if someone in Maine is divorced, free of charge.

Citizens can access Maine divorce records for free, whether they’re being sought as a part of one’s family genealogy research, to satisfy a curiosity about someone in their life or demonstrate one’s marital status.

Regardless of the reason, access to divorce records (among other things) is a direct result of Maine’s passage of the Freedom of Access Act. While this law provides citizens with broad access to government information, the process for accessing specific records, such as divorces, is not discussed.

This article will walk you through how you can access divorce records in Maine, making the process a breeze.

This resource was written by Attorney Robert Bailey Jr, who holds a Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law.

Who Is Able To Access Divorce Information in Maine?

Divorce information in Maine may be accessed by any citizen for inspection. Access to this type of information is granted by the Maine Freedom of Access Act, which was passed under the idea that the public needs to have access to information about and from their government.1 Vital records, such as divorce information, have been officially maintained by the state since 1892.

Unlike other vital records (e.g., marriage, birth, death), no time has to pass before divorce records in Maine become public. However, there are still certain limitations. While an individual can access divorce records for informational purposes, certified records are limited to the following people:

  • The person listed on the record
  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Descendents of the individual named on the record
  • A legal custodian, guardian or authorized representative of the person on the divorce record
  • Genealogists authorized by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s DRVS office

In addition to divorce records, a citizen can also access Maine divorce data. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics provides the state’s most recent divorce rate.2 According to the most recent available data (2021), Maine has a divorce rate of 2.7 for every 1,000 residents.

A screenshot showing a visualization map of Maine divorce rates per 1,000 total population residing in the area for 2021 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics website.
Source: Center of Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics2

How To Look Up Maine Divorce Records for Free

If citizens want to look up public divorce records in Maine, they can do so online through the Search Maine Public Portal provided by Maine’s Judicial Branch.3 This particular divorce information pertains to the case that was filed and is part of Maine’s general court records.

To access Maine divorce cases, you must start by registering for a free account. When you do so, you can select “General Public” for account type.

Once you are logged in to the online tool, you will want to select “Advanced Search” to ensure your results are focused on accessing divorce cases. You can do so by selecting to search by case category. In the case category selection, only select “Family” as the type of cases you want to search.

You can add other search parameters to narrow down your results from there. You can search by case number, location, a party’s name and even one of the attorneys that handled the matter. You can also limit your searches to cases that are either active or inactive.

Once you perform a search, you can view the case caption, location of the case, party’s names and any attorneys involved. In addition, you can see the date the case was filed.

When you click on the case caption, you can access additional information. This information includes a list of all hearings and events related to the cases. Here, you can view a chronological summary of every filing and court date from when the complaint was submitted to when the divorce decree was issued.

Divorce matters are handled by the family law division in the District Court where the case was filed. If you cannot find a record online, you may have to contact the court clerk with the district court where the divorce was filed.

Request a Certificate of Divorce Through Maine’s Department of Health & Human Services

You can also request a divorce certificate through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention Data, Research, and Vital Statistics (DRVS) Office.4 The DRVS office provides both certified and non-certified divorce records. While they contain the same information, certified records can be used to verify one’s marital status for legal or business purposes.

A certified copy of a divorce record costs $15.00 and $6.00 for each additional copy. If you just want a non-certified copy, the cost is $10.00. Regardless of what type of record you want, you can make a request with the department’s Application for a Search and Certified Copy of a Vital Record.5

A screenshot showing an application form for a search and a certified copy of a vital record that requires filling out the full name of the child/parents/groom or bride's maiden name, date, and place of birth/death or marriage depending on what type of record lies which are birth, death, marriage, or divorce record from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Source: Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention5

Information necessary to make a request includes the following:

  • Full name of Husband/Spouse
  • Full name of Wife/Spouse (including maiden name)
  • Date the divorce occurred
  • Specific Court where divorce finalized

The application, along with the fee, copy of government-issued photo ID and self-addressed stamped envelope, can be sent to the address below:

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
220 Capitol St., 11 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333

Note: This form can also be used to request a certificate for an annulment. This type of legal action is distinguished from a divorce in that the court determines the marriage was never valid. This determination can result from the party’s familial relationship, previous marriage, age and more.

The DVRS has partnered with a third-party vendor, VitalChek, as another alternative for requesting a certificate of divorce.6 Through VitalChek, you can make a request by phone at 877-523-2659 or online. However, there are additional fees when using this service.

Searching Maine Counties & Cities for Divorce Records

In addition to state-level searches, you can also access Maine divorce Records with specific county government agencies. While state searches using online search tools may allow you to access a wider number of divorce records, it may not always be the best option. A county-level search may be more convenient, or it may provide you the option to ask questions and search records in person, which one often cannot do at the state level.

Another reason is that searching at the county level may allow you to access more information than you were able to at the state level. Whatever your reason, below is information that will assist you in searching for divorce records in the three largest counties in Maine. Use this information as a tool for these counties and a guide for searching throughout other counties in Maine.

In Maine, district courts are responsible for handling matters in divorce. However, these district courts are located in specific cities that are responsible for handling these matters across different regions in Maine.

Cumberland County is the largest county in Maine and contains its most populated city, Portland. If an individual wants to access divorce records in this county, they can start by contacting the Clerk of the Portland District Court.7 This court has jurisdiction over divorce cases in Cumberland County.

The Clerk of the Portland District Court is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You can call them at 207-822-4200 or go to the address below:

Portland District Court
205 Newbury St., Ground Fl.
Portland, Maine 04101

The second largest county in Maine is York County. A record seeker looking to access divorce information in York County can do so through the Biddeford District Court.8 While there used to be an independent York District Court, it has been closed.

To request information on accessing York County divorce records, start by calling the Clerk at 207-283-6000. You can ask them what their process is for requesting and searching divorce records. They are available from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday and are located at the address below:

York Judicial Center
Biddeford District Court
515 Elm St.
Biddeford, Maine 04005

Penobscot County is the third largest county in Maine. In order to access divorce records in this county, it will depend on the specific district court where they were filed. Penobscot County is home to four separate district courts.

If you are not sure of the exact district court where a divorce case was filed, you may have to contact multiple offices. Below is the contact information for the Clerk of each Penobscot County District Court:

District Court Address Phone Number
Bangor District Court 78 Exchange St.
Bangor, Maine 04401
Lincoln District Court 52 Main St.
Lincoln, Maine 04457
Millinocket District Court 207 Penobscot Ave.
Millinocket, Maine 04462
Newport District Court 12 Water St.
Newport, Maine 04953

All of the Penobscot district courts listed above are available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Reminder: County divorce records are available to be searched through the Search Maine Public Portal.

While we have been discussing more recent information, there are also archived divorce records that can be accessed to assist an individual that’s performing a genealogy search.

Tracking Family Genealogy & Heritage Through Maine’s Divorce Archives

Archived divorce records often require a different search process. People typically search archived divorce records when performing a genealogy search. If an individual is looking to perform a free public divorce records search for archived information, one option is the Maine State Archives.9

You can use the Maine State Archives Catalog Search Tool to see what types of divorce records are available to access.10

A screenshot displaying a record or document search tool filtering the search terms, record type limit, search field, year and row with an arrow pointing to a sample search term from the Maine State Archives website.
Source: Maine State Archives10

For additional questions, you can contact the Maine State Archives by email at or by phone at 207-287-5790. Their office is located at the address below:

Maine State Archives
17 Elkins Lane, 84 SHS
Augusta, Maine 04333

A screenshot displaying a record or document search results showing the title, dates, where the document or record is found, identifier and other information from the Maine State Archives website.
Source: Maine State Archives11

If you are looking for a divorce index that you can search online; you can use the Digital Maine Repository.12 Their searchable index contains information on divorce records from 1892 to 1963. This online search tool allows you to search the index by a person’s name.

The index contains information on when the divorce occurred and the cause. In addition, you can view information on both party’s names and the date of their marriage.

Additionally, you may want to see what archived records are available with the Maine State Library.13 For questions on what types of archived divorce records they have available, you can contact them by phone at 207-287-5600. To search for archived divorce records in person, you can go to the address below:

Maine State Library
242 State St.
Augusta, Maine 04333

If you know where a particular divorce occurred, another option is to access records from the individual district court that is the record custodian. Many of these local government agencies maintain archives of their records.

If you still find yourself searching for divorce records and you need other options, try searching with historical societies, religious institutions and public libraries. You may find divorce records in unexpected documents, such as old newspapers.

How To Look Up Dissolutions of Marriage & Common Law Divorces in Maine

In Maine, the terms divorce and dissolution are interchangeable and involve the legal process for ending a marriage. With that being said, a person can look up dissolutions through the Maine Public Portal. Another option is to request a certificate with this information through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention Data, Research, and Vital Statistics (DRVS) Office.

Lastly, they can search for this information with the clerk of the district court in the county where the dissolution occurred.

Certain states allow for common-law marriage. While the specific requirements vary from state to state, the general premise is that parties can be considered legally married if they present themselves as such despite not going through the state’s official process. In Maine, common law marriage is not recognized.

As a result, there is no state statute in Maine for a common law divorce.

Maine has allowed same-sex marriages since November 6, 2012. In addition, the Maine statute also authorizes domestic partnerships.

Domestic partnerships can be ended with a notice of termination, and any filings with the court can be accessed in the same manner as divorce records. This includes court records and certificates issued by the DRVS.

How To File for a Divorce & Address Divorce Petitions in Maine

Contemplating a divorce is a huge consideration as it is a major life change for anyone. Whether you are considering ending your nuptials or you just received divorce papers, the information below is designed to help you better understand the early steps in this process.

If you are planning to file, you must first determine if you are eligible for divorce in Maine. To qualify, one of the following must be true:

  • You lived in the state of Maine for at least six months.
  • You were married in Maine and are a resident of the state.
  • You were living in Maine when the reason for divorce arose, and you are a resident of the state
  • Your spouse resides in Maine

If you meet the residency requirement, you can then decide your grounds for divorce. In Maine, an individual has the option of filing for either a no-fault or at-fault divorce. The most common divorce is a no-fault divorce, where the party claims that there are irreconcilable differences in the divorce.

However, an at-fault divorce can be filed for specific reasons, such as adultery, extreme cruelty or impotence.

Before you file a petition, it is a good idea to gather as much relevant information as possible. This includes basic information about the parties, the marriage and assets. In addition, if you have children together, they will need to be addressed in your Complaint for Divorce.

Once you are ready, you can prepare and submit the required forms along with a $120 filing fee.14 These forms include the Complaint in Divorce, Family and Probate Matters Summary Sheet and others that are dependent on your specific situation.

A screenshot showing a family and probate matter summary sheet that requires providing information on the court location, type of action and filing, plaintiff or petitioner information, and other information from the Maine Judicial Branch website.
Source: Maine Judicial Branch15

In your complaint, you will want to address everything that you hope to attain as a result of the divorce. This can include a proposed division of assets, alimony, child support, custody and more.

Once you file this information with the court, you will have to simultaneously serve the Complaint on your spouse. This includes proving to the court that you served the complaint by having your spouse sign and provide you with an Acknowledgement of Receipt of Summons and Complaint. Alternatively, you can send the complaint to your spouse via certified mail or through a Sheriff’s Office.

A person receiving a complaint in divorce has 21 days to provide a response. If not, the court may enforce the complaint as written. Your response can indicate where you agree, along with any counterclaims.

For instance, you may disagree on some fundamental issues, such as child support and custody.

If the issue is contentious or complex, you may want to consider some options to alleviate the situation. The first is to consult with a licensed family law attorney in Maine. They can provide you with guidance, walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

You can also look for objective assistance by seeking out mediation or, in the case of assets, a divorce appraisal.

This information will point you in the right direction if you are contemplating or in the early stages of the divorce process. In addition, you now have the necessary information to conduct a search of Maine divorce records.


1Maine Government. (n.d). Your Right to Know: The Maine Freedom of Access Act. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <,privacy%20rights%20of%20individual%20citizens.>

2Center of Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. (2023, February 10). Divorce Rates by State: 2019-2021. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

3Re:Search Maine. (n.d). Pricing. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <!/upgrade>

4Maine Division Of Public Health Systems. (n.d). Ordering a Vital Record. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

5Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, January). Application for a Search and Certified Copy of a Vital Record. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

6VitalChek. (n.d). Order Your Vital Records Online. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

7Maine Judicial Branch. (n.d). Portland District Court. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

8Maine Judicial Branch. (n.d). Biddeford District Court. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

9Maine Government. (n.d). Maine State Archives. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

10Maine State Archives. (n.d). Archives Catalog. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

11Maine State Archives. (n.d). Archives Catalog Search Result. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

12Digital Maine Repository. (n.d). Divorce Index. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

13Maine State Library. (n.d). Contact Information. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

14Maine Judicial Branch. (n.d). Court Process in a Family Matters Case. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>

15Maine Judicial Branch. (2020, July). Family and Probate Matter Summary Sheet. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from <>